This article originally appeared on Fox News on May 29, 2019.
A recent Gallup poll found that 43 percent of Americans believe socialism would be a good thing for our country. The good news is that 51 percent said it would be a bad thing.
Still, that’s a thin margin in a nation whose people have so obviously benefitted from capitalism and its progeny, the American Dream. But, it may not be as bad as it looks. When it comes to socialism and capitalism, perception and reality are often quite different. When Americans are presented with the underlying concepts, sans the much-distorted labels, the results are far more encouraging.
Gallup found that nearly one in four Americans associate socialism with “social equality” while only 17 percent associate it government control of the economy. This misperception is largely the result of an education system controlled by teachers’ unions – read that as progressive/socialists – and a media complex that feeds us leftist ideology as either entertainment or news. At its core, this notion of “social equality” is part of the often disproven myth that socialism is a “benevolent” economic system necessary to protect the oppressed masses from capitalist “greed.” Myth, in this context, being a polite word for a lie. In reality, it is capitalism that encourages concern for the needs of others while socialism inevitably encourages greed.
In fact, in a capitalist economy, the only way you can improve your life is by satisfying the needs of others. That is by providing the products or services that other people want at a price they can afford. To be a successful capitalist, you have to shift your focus outward, to the needs and wants of others – your consumers. The only way to succeed is by knowing what your customers want and offering it to them at an affordable price.
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